Called to Serve

Called to Serve

Thursday, August 31, 2017

29 Weeks!!

We can't contain our smiles!! We are so happy to hit the 20's this week!! Almost to the 6 month mark!

Monday, August 28, 2017

August 28, 2017

Hey Mom!!

I don't have a lot to talk about, but I'll make up for it next week I promise!!

Yes, transfers are today! I'm going to TRAIN A BRAND NEW MISSIONARY!!! I'm so excited!!

I'm going to train here in Yreka, but I'm going up to Eugene today through Thursday to pick up my new comp. I'll get him on Thursday and
will drive down to Yreka then.

Elise is getting SO BIG!!! I can't believe she is a freshman!! Ugh! That makes me feel so old!!

I have some pictures to send!




August 21, 2017

Hey Mom!
We're up in Medford today, so I'll have time to email in a bit, but
I'm glad you're coming home and had a good time!
I saw a partial eclipse today. It was amazing!!
I'll tell you more about it later!

Love you!
Elder Snyder

Later…


Hi Mom!

Glad you made it home safe!! I'm glad that you're safe and sound as well :)

Thanks for all the pictures!! It was super fun to see those ruins and
stuff!! I'm sad I couldn't have seen it myself!!

My week has been great!! We had a lot of cool experiences and I'm
excited for this week to come!! On Tuesday, we finished our exchange
with our DL. It was a good time! Elder Searcy and I went to go contact
some people that the bishop asked us to visit, and ended up on a dirt
road, so Elder Searcy got some pictures of me. We also saw a couple of
bucks!!

We also found a couple of new investigators this week!! It was really
fun!! They are awesome and I hope they start progressing.

On Friday we had Zone Conference. It was amazing. President and Sister
Orton are so cool!! They definitely have been called of God and are
qualified by him to lead this mission. I'm so blessed to have been in
this mission with both President and Sister Orton and President and
Sister Russell. I've learned so much from them, and I know that I'll
be a better man because of their guidance and example.

On Friday we also had vehicle inspection. Kind of. Elder Jensen (the
vehicle coordinator) started a new thing this Zone Conference where he
doesn't grade the cars or give out prizes and Zone Conference but at a
random district meetings to see how clean the cars are at a random
time. The exception to this was our car. I spent time during non-pros
hours deep cleaning the car. Dad will be so proud because Elder Jensen
(even with the new rule) was so impressed he told us we had the best
car in the multi zone conference and he gave us a DQ gift card.
#mydadtaughtmewell.

Today has been fun! We've come up to Medford for elder Luke to pick up
a prescription, then we played ultimate frisbee and watched the
eclipse. It was fun!!

Oh, we bought some ribs and I made them yesterday. They were so good.
Texas Roadhouse has nothing on me 😂😂


Anyway, I love you!!
Elder Snyder






August 14, 2017

Hey mom!!

Glad to hear you made it safe!!

I've been doing great!! This week has been wonderful!! We had a couple
great lessons and I've been feeling a lot better.

We're going to have a busy day today. Our DL and his comp (elder
Searcy and Elder Baker) are here and will be spending today and
tomorrow with us to help us find some people to teach. I'm pretty
excited because I'm pretty tight with Elder Baker. It's his first
transfer in the mission, and he's just super fun to be around.

I'd try the Guinea Pig, I bet it tastes pretty good. Probably a little
gamey but it's alright ;) I'm surprised dad didn't want to eat it!!

I'm excited for Elise. She's going to do so well in high school.

Sorry I don't have a lot of time, but I do have some pictures for you!






Friday, August 11, 2017

Countdown Pic

We love seeing these numbers go down!!

Another Week Down!

Hi Mom

I'm glad that Elise stuck with the band. I'm sure she's going to love it.

That's funny about them trying to recruit Elise to ROTC 😂 I tried to

tell Elise to do it, but she said no 😂


I'm doing alright. I don't have much to report on this week, it's been
a rough one. My companion hurt his back pretty good, and he has a
doctor visit this Wednesday. I got sick for a couple days with food
poisoning. It was not fun, but I'm feeling better now. It was hard
because I was stuck in our apartment, when I really just want to be
out and talking with people.

We did have exchanges with our DL up in Medford. It was fun!! I was
with the DL's companion, who has only been out for 3 weeks. He's a
pro, excellent missionary. He'll probably be in leadership at some
point in his mission.

I was having a rough time on Sunday, and asked Elder Sivula to give me
a blessing. It really helped. To make things even better, we had a
thunderstorm roll through last night. It was so pretty. We were
driving and saw a rainbow, and I felt as if it was a sign from God
that things will get better.

Anyway, sorry for the short letter, but that's all I got. I love you!
I miss you too, coming up on 6 months to go. It's flying fast.


Elder Snyder

My new blanket!

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Dragons in Cali?

Hey Momma!

I'll be looking for the shoes! They'll probably come this week or next.

My week was good! We had a lot to do, so that was great! We had interviews with President Orton on Tuesday. That was awesome!! The Sivulas drove us up so we didn't have to use our miles. The interview was awesome!! President Orton is definitely called of God to be here. He has really helped me out in many ways. I told him about our family motto, we can do hard things, and he really liked that. 

After the interviews, elder and sister sivula took us to Taco Bell then to a chocolate factory in Ashland. It was awesome!! They had samples of all their chocolate and it was very tasty indeed!! The Sivulas are just simply wonderful! I'm so thankful for what they do for us missionaries.

We put a lady on date for baptism! Her name is Christina, and she is so sweet! She really wants to be baptized! We're excited for her to start coming to church and learning more about the gospel.

I'm loving being out here! We have just the most amazing members and I really like serving out here in the middle of the desert. It's hot but not humid, so walking in the shade is actually cool! And we have an ac unit that works very well, so our apartment is super cool.

I also really enjoy the car we get to drive. It is so nice!! I love the RAV4! It handles nice on back roads and on the freeway it is roomy, but not too big, and just a good little crossover :) 10/10 best car I've driven in the mission. We are definitely blessed to have it.

This next week should be tons of fun! We'll be going on exchanges with Medford 6th on Thursday to Friday. They're our distinct leader area so we get to spend some time up there. It'll be fun, but Medford is a bigger city up in Oregon so I'll be kinda sad to be away from the boonies.

I do want to share my beliefs on the Plan of Salvation. These past couple months have been kinda hard on me, and I've had time to seriously think about where my testimony of the Plan of Salvation is. What I've come to believe is true is that before we came to this Earth, we lived as children of God. He loves us and knows each of us as individuals. (See Jeremiah 1:5 and also Acts 17:29) 

I also came to know and believe that as we all die, in Christ we will all be made alive again. (See 1 Cor. 15:22.) 

I know that God lives. He speaks to man, the gospel is restored.

Love you!

Elder Snyder
A random dragon just off the freeway

Monday, July 24, 2017

Busy in California!

Hey Mom

Got a lot to talk about with you today, but not at the moment. See, we were in Ashland with President cropper (from the mission presidency) and he had a cool service/teaching opportunity for our Zone. We'll be driving back soon so talk to you then!

Alright, now for my real email :)

This week has been crazy good! We visited lots of places and people and are just having a blast!!

I love Yreka. My area covers two wards. They are not large wards by any means, but they are wards none the less. I love the car we drive. The RAV4 is super duper nice, our apartment is a two bedroom, large kitchen, nice bathroom with tons of hot water, AND an air conditioner. Most important than any of those is the people. The people here are so loving, and kind. I know I'm just going to fit right in and get some good work done.

This week is kinda crazy! The senior couple, The Sivula's, are super nice. Every time we go up to Medford, they drive us. They are seriously the nicest missionary couple ever!! So today, they drove us up to President Croppers house. President Cropper is in the mission presidency, and he had a fun idea for an activity for us. He invited the whole Zone over to harvest wheat. We read the parable of the wheat and the tares, then he had us go out and harvest it. We talked about the parable and its implications. It was so fun and definitely gave me a better perspective on the way that parable is given.

Tomorrow we're driving in for interviews with President Orton. I'm super excited for that! The Sivulas are driving us again. They are so nice to do that for us!!

The rest of the week will be pretty run of the mill. We'll be in Etna Wednesday/Thursday and we'll be spending time with some members, Friday we may or may not have District Meeting, then Saturday is normal and Sunday is church.

We also gave talks yesterday, so I'll attach that for ya.

I've been thinking a lot about forgiveness. There are countless times in the scriptures that we are commanded to forgive, but I was pondering why. With forgiveness come peace and a huge burden is relieved from our shoulders. I think that Satan really wants us to harbor our feelings of anger, hate, bitterness, and so forth, so that we become miserable like him. Since he wants us to feel miserable, he'll try to stop us by making us feel that forgiveness is hard, and not worth it. My plea is to stop thinking that way. I know what peace can come from forgiveness, and it is so much sweeter than the bitterness of not forgiving.

Alight, I've given my speech for the day.

Moving on to Elise, I will definitely pray for her. Marching camp is hard, but she can do it. I'll email her about my first year and that might help.

Love you Mom, thanks for your support.

Elder Snyder 

P.S. Can you tell Dad that the anchor tie is his? It might have torn a bit, but I made the tie and wanted to give it to him :)

Okay so here is my talk

Whatsoever He saith unto you, Do it.
Sacrament Talk 7/23/2017 
Elder Snyder

Greet/intro 

Good morning Brothers and Sisters. It is a pleasure to be here with you today. When Elder Luke told me we were speaking on Sunday, my first though was that he was kidding. I was wrong.

Since I'm new to the Ward, I'm going to take a second to introduce myself. As was announced, my name is Elder Snyder. I'm from Orlando, Florida and I enjoy the sunshine. I've been out on my mission for about a year and a half and have enjoyed every minute of it. I am excited for the opportunity to be here in Yreka, and I am looking forward to getting to know all of you.

Jesus's first miracle 

The beginning of John chapter two gives an account of Jesus's first miracle. This is what it says:

1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. (John 2:1-11 KJB)

As amazing as this miracle is, I could probably spend an hour talking about its importance and its implication. However, there is a short phrase that Mary tells the servants to do that I am going to dive into. That phrase is 

"Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it."

This phrase is powerful. Mary gives charge to the servants to do whatsoever Jesus tells them to do, no matter if it simple or complex, hard or easy, they do it. After, miracles happen. This plea to be obedient to the Savior will bring blessings. 

Nephi's Example

When thinking about the example of being asked to do something, and doing it, my mind is turned to Nephi. In 1 Nephi chapter 3, Lehi asks his sons to go back to Jerusalem to get the plates of brass, or in other words the scriptures, from the wicked Laban. Nephi's older brothers, Laman and Lemuel, complained about how hard of a task it will be, but Nephi says:

"7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7 B.of M.)

Nephi knew that whatever the Lord asks him to do, he needs to do it. He also knew that there is a way prepared for us to accomplish what he asks.

This isn't the only thing that Nephi was obedient about. Before getting the plates, Nephi had to make the choice to follow his father into the wilderness. After getting the plates of brass, Nephi and his brothers were sent to go get the house of Ishmael and bring them along. Nephi was also commanded to construct a ship in the way that God would show him him.

I am so thankful for Nephi's willingness to obey the lords commandments. What an example he is to us. Nephi's obedience has definitely helped me while preparing for, and in my service as a missionary. Whatever God commanded me to do, he has prepared a way for me to accomplish it. 

I have a testimony of that principal. I know it's true because I've tried it out, and it worked. I know everything that God commands you to do, he will provide a way as well.

Alma The Younger's example

I also like the example of Alma the Younger given in Alma chapter 8, While he is out preaching repentance to the different Nephite cities. As he went to go preach to the apostate people in Ammonihah, Alma was struggling. He had every door slammed in his face, people spitting on him, yelling at him, and eventually got kicked out. As he was walking away from Ammonihah towards the city of Aaron, Alma had much tribulation and anguish of soul towards the people because of their wickedness. While he was in this state, an Angel appeared to him and says:

"Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him. Behold, I am he that delivered it unto you.

And behold, I am sent to command thee that thou return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city; yea, preach unto them. Yea, say unto them, except they repent the Lord God will destroy them.

For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people, (for thus saith the Lord) which is contrary to the statutes, and judgments, and commandments which he has given unto his people." (Alma 8:15-17 B.of M.)

So let's think about this for a second. Alma is kicked out of this city, and in the process getting mocked, ridiculed, spit upon, and so forth, and then is commanded to go back?? I've tried putting myself in that situation and I'm not sure what I would do. It definitely would be a trial of faith for any of us. 

Alma's response, however, gives me courage. The scriptures say that Alma went back speedily to Ammonihah. Which because of his obedience, finds, converts, and receives the most amazing missionary companion of all time, Amulek.

Alma knew what it meant to do whatsoever thing the Lord asked. Literally thousands were blessed because of it.

Abinadi's Example 

One of the most courageous prophets in the Book of Mormon is Abinadi. Abinadi was a prophet at the same time wicked king Noah came to power. King Noah was leading the people to commit many sins and transgressions that were not pleasing to God, so God told Abinadi to preach repentance to the people. The people were frustrated because Abinadi told them that they were sinning, and since King Noah didn't like to be told he was wrong, he kicked Abinadi out and told him never to return.

God told Abinadi that he needed to go back and tell the people that if they don't repent, that their city will be destroyed. He does so and gets cast into prison. When put on trial, Abinadi delivers a powerful message of the Ten Commandments and on Jesus Christ, and while he is delivering his message, nobody can touch him because he was filled with the power of God. After Abinadi delivered his message, King Noah's priests (except for Alma the Elder) wanted to kill Abinadi, so they sentenced him to death by fire.

I love Abinadi. His faith and courage to follow what Jesus Christ has done is amazing to me. I couldn't comprehend being put on trial for my beliefs, let alone doing so knowing that I probably would be put to death. Abinadi did because God told him he needed to. Because of that, Alma the Elder was converted, and converted many thousands after. 

Abinadi knew what it meant to do whatsoever The Lord asked him to do.


The Pioneers

Tomorrow marks 170 years since the day Brigham Young said the famous words "It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on." and the first pioneer saints entered into the Salt Lake Valley. We commemorate July 24th as a day to remember the trials and hardships of all the pioneers faced in their quest to follow what God has asked them to do, and that is Establish Zion. When I think of "whatsoever He saint unto you, do it" my thoughts wouldn't be complete without the Mormon Pioneers.

One of these pioneers was named William Clayton. This is an excerpt from Our Heritage that depicts his story.

"William Clayton was called to be in one of the first groups to leave Nauvoo and left his wife, Diantha, with her parents, only a month away from delivering her first child. Slogging through muddy roads and camping in cold tents wore his nerves thin as he worried about Diantha’s well-being. Two months later, he still did not know if she had delivered safely but finally received the joyful word that a “fine fat boy” had been born. Almost as soon as he heard the news, William sat down and wrote a song that not only had special meaning to him but would become an anthem of inspiration and gratitude to Church members for generations. The song was “Come, Come, Ye Saints,” and the famous lines expressed his faith and the faith of the thousands of Saints who sang in the midst of adversity: “All is well! All is well!” They, like the members who have followed them, found the joy and peace that are the rewards of sacrifice and obedience in the kingdom of God." 
("Our Heritage" Church of Jesus Christ of LDS pg 71)

My heart is full of gratitude for the thousands of faithful saints who risked their lives to follow The Lords instructions. Many of these men, women, and children sacrificed all they had to come to Zion, and establish a place where we could rejoice in this gospel free from persecution and attack.

These pioneers knew what it meant to do whatsoever the Lord says.

But Pioneers aren't just the people who pushed handcarts. According to WordWeb dictionary and thesaurus, a pioneer is anyone who "takes the lead or Initiative in"

So in a way, we can all be Pioneers. Pioneers in our faith, beliefs and standards. One of my favorite children songs is called "To be a Pioneer" which teaches us

"You don’t have to push a handcart,
Leave your fam’ly dear,
Or walk a thousand miles or more
To be a pioneer!"

"You do need to have great courage,
Faith to conquer fear,
And work with might for a cause that’s right
To be a pioneer!"

As we have courage, faith, and work for this excellent cause, we are pioneers.

When I think on this principle, a recent convert I taught in Grants Pass comes to mind. Mark is in his 40s, and has had more trials and tribulations than I have ever seen anyone go through. I don't want to give any details, but he had every reason to be bitter at life. But he didn't. When the missionaries taught him, he took this message, despite opposition, and ran with it. Giving up coffee and tea was no issue for him, he knew that the Word of wisdom is given to us by God. Tithing? He had faith that in the end, God would provide a way for him to pay tithing and his bill, though it sometimes the numbers didn't look like they would add up. Every thing God asked him to do, he did. 

Mark Hasting is a real life pioneer, and he knows what it means to do whatsoever God asks him to do. 
I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 





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7/21/2017: Package from Bracken!

On Friday we had a pleasant surprise! We got a package from Bracken. I shed a few little tears as I read his sweet letter. I miss that kid!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rav4 and California

Hola family. I would love to answer all of your questions and such...
but today is transfers and I'm leaving Oregon. That's right. Right now
I'm sitting pretty comfortably in Yreka California. My area covers
Etna and Yreka. We'll spend most of the time in Yreka, but spend
Wednesday and Thursday out in Etna.

My companion is Elder Luke. It is his last transfer so wish me luck.
He is a great missionary, but sending people home always makes me
think of home. Also, I've moved up in the driving world. My car is a
Toyota Rav 4. It's super nice!!

Well that's about it.... I got to get running. Love you all!! I pray for you!

Elder Snyder

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I don't think he likes the RAV.. ;)


July 10: "Faith Without Works Is Dead."

They used the glow bracelets I sent as 4th of July decor! Hahaha!

I don't even know..Tired from service I'm going to say! ;)

Hey Momma,

How are you doing today?

I'm doing well. I'm glad to hear that you got to go and see President and Sister Russell. They truly are an amazing couple, and I am so thankful to have been able to serve with them. So thankful.

I'm also thankful that I get to serve with President and Sister Orton. I got to meet them on Saturday. They’re from Utah, and are super super nice. They will be good powerful leaders, just as president and sister Russell were. They are different, but just as loving and just as strong.

My week was good. We got a lot done. We taught a few lessons, and did a ton of service. We started helping a guy clean out this property he bought from a hoarder. He has a bunch of scrap (crap) everywhere. We're kinda piling it up just to get it out of the way, and he's giving the previous owner guy a period of time to take it out, or he's going to scrap it. It's complicated, but he appreciates the help.

It looks like the funeral went well. My heart is with the family. I really wish I could have been with the family, but I know God can do more for y'all than I can. 

I'm glad to see those pictures! Jason and Nicole sure were blessed with a cutie!!! I can't wait to hold her!!

I gave a talk in sacrament. I gave it in Eugene a year ago or so. I've made a few changes to it, but I'll attach it anyway. Sacrament was good!! We had a surprise in Sacrament meeting though. A huge family from Utah walked in five minutes before sacrament meeting started. Before they walked in, we were expecting to have only 15 or so people in the meeting. After they walked in we had 79 people in our chapel. That's the most I've ever seen and this little branch building. It was really fun to speak to almost a whole ward! ....But I was really nervous.

All in all it was a really good week. I was really happy to be here in Oakridge, where the weather is warm and the mountains are beautiful.

Love you mom

Elder Snyder

Faith Sacrament talk

Greet/intro
Good morning brothers and sisters. It is such a privilege to be here with you this morning. For those of you whom I haven't met yet, My name is Elder Snyder, and I have been away from home for a little over a year serving the Lord in the best mission on the planet. I was born in Logan Utah, but I grew up in Orlando, Florida so I claim that as my home.

About 17 years ago, my Father faced a difficult choice. He was offered a chance to go over seas and study at a school in Belgium for his doctorate degree. My father and his young family, who at this time hadn't left the bubble of Utah, was worried that we weren't going to be able to live in a foreign place, with different food, an extremely different culture, and most importantly, not being able to speak to the people, as we didn't speak a lick of french. As my family contemplated this decision, we decided to pray. We got a confirmation from the spirit that this was the right decision for our family, and so we boarded the plane and headed to Belgium. Once there, we stayed in a tiny apartment and slept on air mattresses, and the first time mom went grocery shopping, she said she broke down in tears because despite seeing the products, she couldn't figure out what she was buying, since none of the labels contained any English!! 

After a week, my mom and dad had a conversation on whether or not they could actually do it. They reflected on the prayers they had, and knew that God wanted them to take this path, but they had no idea how to push forward. Luckily, and thankfully, despite it being hard, they put their faith in the Lord and made it through.

I love thinking and reflecting on this story because there are many things I can learn from my parent’s example. Some of the lessons I've learned from this are on faith. there are three things I learn about faith in this story, and I'll go through them one at a time, and go into depth with them as we go.

first lesson of faith.
Faith starts with a belief in God and Jesus Christ.

One of the Book of Mormon Prophets, Alma, teaches this in Alma 32. Verse 21 states

 "21 And now as I said concerning faith--faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."

Alma also teaches in verse 27

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Alma teaches here in these two verses that faith isn't a perfect knowledge, but is a hope. He also teaches that even if you have a desire to have this hope or belief, that God will work with you to help grow your faith.

To tie this into the original story, my parents wouldn't have gotten anywhere without having that belief or hope that God was there looking out for them. If you are struggling with faith, this is where you start. You must have that desire to believe.  Back when I was 11 years old, I remember thinking to myself during one fast and testimony meeting, how can these people have such strong faith in Christ? I found myself desiring to have that. I remember praying for the first time in a while telling God that I wanted to believe, and that I wanted to increase my faith. As I acted on my desire to believe and my hope to believe, my faith did increase until I felt like I could actually trust in God. How wonderful it is to me, that God worked with me, I didn't even believe, I just had the smallest desire to, and he worked with it.

The second lesson of faith
Faith requires work.

My father and my family at the time needed to have faith that they could get through this hard time, but it would not happen if my family didn't work at it. For example, my family at the time was praying and praying to help learn and get used to the culture in Belgium, and we had the faith that God would help us in that endeavor. But how could we learn the culture if we just sat in our apartment and stayed isolated from it? God wants to help us, but if we don't do our part, he cannot! Faith is an action word. As missionaries, we study and teach that faith is "a strong belief that motivates us to act." It requires us to do things for it to work. James teaches us in James chapter 2

"17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works"

It is put out there simply Brothers and Sisters, Faith without works is dead! If you are praying and praying for something to happen, but you aren't willing to do all you can to obtain what you are praying for on your own, God will not help you. Spencer W. Kimball taught 

"There must be works with faith. How foolish it would be to ask the Lord to give us knowledge, but how wise to ask the Lord’s help to acquire knowledge, to study constructively, to think clearly, and to retain things that we have learned”

I remember during my junior year of High School, I decided to take several AP classes. I also participated in many extra curricular activities, and worked 5 nights a week at a part time job at a popular fast food joint near my house. I also had the wonderful opportunity to participate in early morning seminary, which required me to get up at 5:30 to make it to seminary on time. Some nights, it felt like as soon as I finished my homework and studies, it was time to pack my bags and leave for the next day. As time went on and the AP exams drew closer, I did all I could on my own to pass. By the time the exams rolled around, I had studied all the exam study guides I had 3 or 4 times, but I still felt as if I knew nothing! I thought to myself, how was I going to pass these exams? I prayed and prayed and prayed for Gods help up until the moment the exams started. I had faith that since I had done my part by studying, God would do His. Well, I give all the credit to God, because I scored solid 4s in all my exams, and received the college credit for those classes. 

I think back on that experience quite often. I had faith that God would help me, but I wonder how much he could've helped me if I didn't study? Probably not that much.

The third lesson of faith
Through faith, we can overcome all things.

I am so thankful that my parents had the faith to sick out that whole experience. My dad was able to graduate and receive his doctorate degree, and we were blessed because of it. I know that my parents had faith, and I know that because they acted in faith, they were able to make though that rough time for our family.

I think about all the times the Book of Mormon shows this. That when people have faith in Christ, they are able to make it through their trials and tribulations. I like the example given in Mosiah chapter 24 where Alma and his people are being persecuted by the Lamanite people, and have heavy burdens and great persecutions placed on them, and are put to death if they pray vocally. Imagine if something like that were to happen to us. Would we have the faith that God would help us? or would we curse God for everything that we're going through? Well, instead of giving up, I'm going to read what the people of Alma did, and what happened because of what they did. Starting in verse 12

"12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage."

(Optional Part)
Mathew 19:26
"26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Let me say that again. With God, ALL things are possible. That means that we really can overcome all things that we go through. If we say we can't, in essence, we're saying we don't understand the gospel.

Not meaning we're going to be perfect. We'll definitely make mistakes. We will have failures. We will have falls. But through the Atonement, and through faith, we can stand up again. I want all of you to remember this. If you get up one more time then you fall, you'll make it. Stay down, and you won't.

Closing 

Brothers and sisters, if you are willing to believe in our Heavenly Father and in Jesus Christ, if you are willing to work hard to show your faith, and are willing to have faith and to submit cheerfully to the will of the father, I promise you that your faith will be as strong as Alma and his people. I also promise, that God will help you through your trials, and help you get though any situation you find yourself in. You will be able to move any mountain placed in your path.


Close with Testimony